What Really Matters
Living a Moral Life amidst Uncertainty and Danger
Arthur Kleinman, M.D.
Reviews and Awards
"This is a fascinating and deeply entertaining book by an eminent anthropologist, psychiatrist, and teacher. It offers the kind of insight that makes you think and think again. But it isn't only analytical. For me at least, the richness of the book comes mainly from the stories Dr. Kleinman tells, about patients and friends and one remarkable historical figure—complicated stories that confront life's miseries and renew the cheapened word 'inspiring.'"—Tracy Kidder -
"In this searingly written book, Arthur Kleinman takes us deep into the contrasting worlds of genuine reality and cultural pretense which he has spent so much of his life exploring. I have rarely read such a powerful portrayal of what Kleinman wonderfully calls 'the quality of anti-heroic everydayness.'"—Jonathan D. Spence -
"In this luminous new book, master scholar Arthur Kleinman offers a handful of stories that open a channel between personal experience and the broader contexts—such as war or illness—in which we live our short lives. What Really Matters is a stern yet humble antidote to the shallow self-help books now crowding bestseller lists. It is also an instructive, deeply affecting and, in the end, transcendent and spiritual book."—Dr. Paul Farmer, Founding Director of Partners in Health, and author of Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor -
"Arthur Kleinman is one of the most broadly informed and wisest people in the life sciences, bridging medicine and the social sciences in a way that is extremely rare and valuable. Moreover, he is an exceptionally keen observer and writes beautifully about matters of great significance. His new book, What Really Matters, is certainly timely when violence is so much in focus and yet it is a contribution of long-term significance." —David A. Hamburg, President Emeritus, Carnegie Corporation of New York -